The first thing that many people think of when someone mentions filters are the options for Instagram posts – however when we talk about filters for professional videographers, we are referring to something else entirely.
If you’re an aspiring videographer, you’ve probably come across the use of lens filters. So what do these little pieces of glass do? Well, lens filters serve a range of functions that can improve the quality of an image before passing it on to post-production.
Here are some of the best lens filters every videographer should own – and why.
1. UV filter
As the name suggests, UV filters are placed in front of the camera lens to block UV rays. Think of it as a good sunscreen for your camera. In the past, they used to be necessary for filming but most modern cameras don’t require one. So now, videographers just use one to avoid moisture, dirt and scratches on their camera lens.
2. Neutral density filter
Neutral density filters reduce the amount of light entering your lens without affecting the colour of the final video. This helps when you’re shooting in harsh light such as studio flashes or even a sunny day.
3. Graduated neutral density filter
GND filters consist of a transparent area and a dark area to achieve a balance in light between the sunny sky and a darker foreground. The filter is often used in landscape videography to manage scenes with a lot of contrast.
4. Warming and cooling filters
These filters are used to correct or enhance the colours present in your scene. These filters can warm-up or cool down the colours, and some can even add certain hues to your image. You can now control whether your scene looks warm or gloomy while filming.
5. Special-effects filters
Special-effect filters don’t help perfect the scene but rather adds an additional element to it, such as fog or cross star. They are often used to add a creative touch to your shots.
6. Polarizing filter
The polarizing filter is used to eliminate reflections, often while shooting out of a window or any other glass surface. They also enhance colours and contrast, so the next time you’re out on a road trip, you can shoot the beautiful blue sky right through the car window.
7. Diffusion filter
Diffusion filters are used to soften your subject and help you capture dreamlike videography. They are often used on cameras that are too sharp to make the video look more organic and less digital.
8. FLD filter
FLD filters were once used for shooting fluorescent lighting and to remove some of the green from the shot. Now, some videographers use the filter to darken the green and add a slight purple tint to the film.
9. Infrared filter
As most digital cameras have built-in filters to block infrared light from the sensors, infrared filters are an inexpensive way to block out visible light and allow only infrared light in.
10. Clear filter
Clear or protective filters serve the sole purpose of protecting your camera lens. They keep out dust and moisture and make cleaning your lens a whole lot easier. Since this filter is simply clear glass, it won’t add any unwanted element to your videography.
As a videographer, it’s important to know what different filters can do so that you can choose which one suits your style. Understanding this can help you overcome difficult lighting situations. So go ahead and start experimenting with some of the filters we have mentioned above.
There are also plenty of other types to discover, but these are the lens filters for video that you should know.
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